Elected officials have a responsibility to their community, those who serve their community and the constituents within their jurisdiction. A city councilman in Jackson, Mississippi has forgotten his duty as a public servant and recently made outrageous statements invoking violence on the police officers that protect and serve the city.
Jackson city councilman Kenneth Stokes got himself in hot water when he publicly condemned police officers who chase criminals from other jurisdictions into Jackson. “These kind of chases put children in danger,” Stokes said. “They said parents were trying to get their children out of harms way. Now, it is our position that if it is a misdemeanor, you shouldn’t be putting children and the elderly in danger. Now if you are talking about a murderer or a bank robbery, then this is a person who may be a little more dangerous to the community, but not a misdemeanor.”
While Stokes was advocating that the police let criminals freely evade justice for their crimes, he turned his veiled hatred towards the police. “There is no question of my love and respect for police officers; my first degree was in criminal justice. I almost became a police officer,” Stokes said, “but somewhere down the line, we have to draw a line between officers who put human beings safety in jeopardy versus using common sense. I don’t consider these police officers. I consider them thugs.”
As for solution to the police “thugs”, Stokes wants citizens of Jackson to assault the police officers, as reported by the Clarion Ledger. “When you have these police officers coming from other jurisdictions and they will not respect human life, then I said we should use rocks, bricks or bottles to try to get the message over: stop endangering our children,” Stokes said.
Stokes’ comments and blatant disregard for the safety of police officers and the community drew outrage from the highest levels, including the Governor’s office. “Mr. Stokes’ remarks are reprehensible, particularly with the attacks we have seen against our men and women in law enforcement,” Governor Phil Bryant said, “I condemn any such remarks in the strongest possible manner. This is nothing short of an outright assault upon all who wear the badge. I will be asking Attorney General Jim Hood to investigate whether Mr. Stokes’ remarks represent criminal threats against law enforcement officers.”
Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker also took offense to Stokes’ comments and plans to hold Stokes accountable. “Any Madison County law enforcement that is attacked because of your ignorant statements, I will hold you responsible. I fully intend to contact the Mississippi attorney general and inquire if your statements constitute assaults on officers by threat,” Tucker said in a Facebook post.